TODAY   |  October 18, 2013

Is mysterious ‘yeti’ related to arctic bear?

One scientist who says he has gathered the DNA of a Himalayan yeti believes there is a hybrid creature that may be a descendant of an artic bear. NBC’s Keir Simmons reports.

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avo: get home? getting directions.

>>> we're back at 7:43 with an age old mystery.

>> the big question of the morning, is there really such a creature as a yeti? and if so, what is it? as keir simmons explains, one scientist may have found the answer.

>> reporter: yeti, big foot , call it what you will. an elusive creature set to hide everywhere. he said they didn't exist until he saw one 25 years ago.

>> long hair, they are going on two legs. they are much taller than a huge man.

>> reporter: still many called the yeti a myth until now. one year ago the oxford scientist decided to put it to the test.

>> this is the starting point.

>> reporter: he gathered samples leading to sightings of the creature, like the hair o the creature.

>> if there's anything we will find it.

>> reporter: he tested the dna and he discovered there is a hybrid creature out there. it marched an arctic bear that lived tens of thousands of years ago. it means the yeti maybe a descendent of that animal. a bit like this museum piece .

>> it's a bear.

>> reporter: independent expert sas the theory is reasonable but the professor is still searching because he believes other yetis maybe related to humans.

>> what a discovery it would be to find a lost race of humans in the himalayas.

>> or anywhere else. that's why i'm doing the work.

>> reporter: his quest provided some answers but there's still much that is mysterious about the yeti. the creature of the mountains. for "today," keir simmons , nbc news london.

>> this is big in your house.

>> my kids are obsessed by big foot . i don't know why. they think he lives near our house.

>> wow. real or not real? do you think.

>> i hope it's real because there's so few things unexplained in this world. it would be great to have something you can't actually put your finger on.

>> he's not there right now, he's in scotland riding the loch ness monster .

>> i don't believe but i don't want to ruin it for your kids. i think you and your kids should find out more about this and watch the big foot files at 8:00 eastern and pacific time on national geographic .

>> do you believe?

>> i do think way a long time ago perhaps.

>> but not now.